Cator, Ruma and Associates was hired as the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineer for a new wellness center on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver. This is the first wellness center designed and built for the University of Colorado Denver. The building contains large study spaces and individual study spaces, an indoor pool, basketball courts, group exercise space, a rock climbing wall, offices and a café.
The design of the new facility has energy conservation in mind. Energy performance strategies were achieved and measured during design development through energy modeling. The heating plant for this building consists of three (3,000,000 Btuh each) natural gas-fired, modular condensing, hot water boilers. Air conditioning for the wellness center is provided by a high efficiency, water cooled, magnetic-bearing chiller and cooling tower. Chilled water is distributed by variable flow chilled water pumps. The chiller has approximately 300 tons of capacity. A 400 ton cooling tower was matched with the chiller. The air handling system type was customized for the specific area and occupancy type in the building. There are three air handling systems, one serving the pool, one serving the gymnasiums, and one serving the fitness and office areas of the building.
The facility is provided with power via a single 2000 amp service entrance switch board “MDC.”
Integral transient voltage surge suppression (TVSS) using selenium technology was provided on the MDC. The service entrance equipment is located on the main level in the main electrical room. All circuit breakers in the MDC were provided with fully adjustable settings. All feeds were provided with metering to be read at the building management system.
In order to meet LEED Gold certification for the building, both mechanical and electrical systems
were designed for energy efficiency. The HVAC and plumbing systems were designed with energy saving measures including condensing (low temperature) boilers, high-efficiency water cooled chillers (with magnetic bearings), and pool AHU heat recovery. In addition, low flow plumbing fixtures were utilized to help reduce water consumption. Indoor air quality meets or exceeds ASHRAE ventilation standards. Demand controlled ventilation was used where spaces are intermittently occupied, or the occupant load is variable. The electrical lighting systems were designed to achieve maximum energy efficiency while maintaining CU Denver standards with regards to lighting levels and interior lamping and controls. Day lighting sensors were installed in all areas with appropriate glazing and occupancy sensors were utilized in all office/utility and back of house areas.